It’s about this time of year that plans start being made for the next year (if they haven’t already been made). Open enrollment for healthcare plans, budgets for fiscal years, calendars start being purchased for 2023. It makes sense. If you want to head somewhere, you need to know where you are headed.
The same can be said for our church. We are led by the Holy Spirit as individuals. Christ is the head of The Church, but we also must take our own responsibility to make preparations for the upcoming year. You may have heard it said “if you want me to tell you what I value, look at my checkbook.” Where we spend our money and time will tell you what we value. In Matthew 6, in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus addresses our possessions. He says “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” so that is why he also says to “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.”
Think about this individually and as our collective body of the church. What have you done the last 10 months with your time, talent, and treasure? For some of us we need to reframe this. We must have a stewardship mind. The things I have are physical blessings: my house, my finances, my career, my hobby, my time, etc. If I take a stewardship approach instead of an ownership approach, my question is “did I steward or manage that the way the owner would want?” instead of “did I get everything I thought I wanted and do I feel satisfied with it?” The answer to the latter question, if that was our mentality, will always be “no” because if we view things as ownership, we will always want more or feel a desire to have more. But, as a steward, we are managing was has been entrusted to us.
So, how have you managed the last 10 months? -How many Sonic purchases do I have? Vs. How many times have I used my Sonic run to bless someone else? -How much time have I spent entertaining myself or my family? vs. How much time have we spent serving others with no agenda?
If our time, talent and treasures all belong to God, let us be reminded of how we should consult with him on how to use these things. And whether you are blessed with much or little, it all belongs to the King. Use it faithfully.
As we go into a strategic time of planning with our church’s blessings, please pray with us as we look over what God has done this past year, and plan for toward what God can do this next year if we open ourselves up to be used by him. Where are the church’s priorities according to our checkbook?
We can build a budget based on what building costs have been, energy costs have been, and how much we pay our staff. And all this should be taken into consideration. But, we must also ask the questions of eternal natures. How many lives do we want to see transformed by the gospel this next year? Does our budget reflect that? How are we investing in the mission of God to reconcile the world unto himself? Does our schedule reflect this? Are we building up the body of Christ for the glory of God? Is our talent being used accordingly?